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Report: Bears, Browns, 49ers, Jets among suitors for Donte Whitner

Divisional Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers Getty Images

A well-regarded veteran safety is reportedly garnering interest from several clubs, including the team for whom he’s played the last three seasons.

The Bears, Browns and Jets are all prospective suitors for 49ers strong safety Donte Whitner, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday.

The Chronicle also reports the 49ers have interest in bringing back the 28-year-old Whitner, who notched 73 tackles and intercepted two passes for San Francisco in 2013.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, citing an unnamed source, reported that the Browns have considerable interest in adding Whitner. If the Browns were to sign Whitner, he would likely take the place of T.J. Ward, who can also test free agency on Tuesday.

In Chicago, Whitner could be a replacement for free agent Major Wright. The Jets, meanwhile, have Dawan Landry currently at strong safety and Antonio Allen at free safety.

Whitner is the 28th-ranked player on PFT’s Free Agent Hot 100.

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23 Responses to “Report: Bears, Browns, 49ers, Jets among suitors for Donte Whitner”
  1. simplemaninoh says: Mar 10, 2014 1:34 PM

    If no Byrd sighting, then let’s bring the Buckeye back to The Buckeye.

  2. thepftpoet says: Mar 10, 2014 1:35 PM

    Donte Whitner is a solid tackler but a liability in coverage.

    A safety like Harrison Smith is a ball-hawk, amazing in coverage and a sure tackler.

    #WeGotItBetterThanYou

  3. braceyourselffor12 says: Mar 10, 2014 1:42 PM

    Let him walk, like Dashon Goldson this guy lays the smack down on fools but is total liability in coverage. We need bigger bodies in the secondary able to shut down the passing game.

    Thanks for your years of play Donte.

  4. bmorepositive123 says: Mar 10, 2014 1:44 PM

    At this point the Eagles should be looking at every single damn safety there is!

  5. beastmode5150 says: Mar 10, 2014 1:45 PM

    When Donte found out the team was now the Santa Clara 49er’s he said “huh? Where the Heck is Santa Clara?”

  6. rl7911 says: Mar 10, 2014 1:45 PM

    The Bears don’t have much money under the salary cap, how can they have an interest in so many FA’s?

  7. thevikesarebest says: Mar 10, 2014 1:46 PM

    Overrated just like the 40 whiners.SKOL

  8. bleedorange59 says: Mar 10, 2014 1:56 PM

    I really don’t see the difference between Ward and Whitner. Both sound tacklers. Both competent leaders. Whitner may have a slight edge being a Cleveland native. Not sure though whether Donte has an injury history. Last year was the first injury free season for Ward. Byrd is the best in coverage, and Gipson can move to the Sam with no trouble at all. Guy can hit. Maybe he’s cheaper . . . I don’t know. I want to see how they address linebacker and corner. I have faith in Farmer and Petine though. I love summer . . . but can’t wait until this one’s over. Go Browns.

  9. hmpennypacker says: Mar 10, 2014 2:01 PM

    I’d be more than happy for us to let Whitner walk & sign ward instead. He’s young & better in coverage.

  10. andreboy1 says: Mar 10, 2014 2:06 PM

    Yeah, Donte has been going to the practice facility in Santa Clara everyday for the past three years so I’m pretty sure he knows where the city is.

    Just let him go. He’s a brutal hitter and he made great strides at coverage last year. PFF had him rated as the 6th best saftety last year. But we can find someone to fill the same role and save money.

  11. ballin99999 says: Mar 10, 2014 2:06 PM

    Yea I don’t see Whitner being a huge upgrade over ward unless they don’t think ward can stay healthy.

  12. mrlaloosh says: Mar 10, 2014 2:13 PM

    All these teams want “Hitner”? He will be obscenely overpaid.

  13. meatcarroll says: Mar 10, 2014 2:16 PM

    SS Hitner is my favorite 49er, good luck to him wherever he goes.

  14. ballboy48 says: Mar 10, 2014 2:16 PM

    It’d be nice to see the Browns pick up Whitner and Browner. Even though Browner is suspended for the first four games, he’s a beast.

  15. bubba9er says: Mar 10, 2014 2:21 PM

    Tough when the business of the game messes with being a fan of the player. I loved Donte Whitner in SF. He seemed to be a good leader and I hope he finds a safe landing spot. SF’s secondary could look quite a bit different this next season…

  16. jbass323 says: Mar 10, 2014 2:29 PM

    Keep hitter upgrade at corner.

  17. chrisk61 says: Mar 10, 2014 2:49 PM

    i ask a question to my pft brothers:

    which available FA safety is best at defending BOTH the run and pass ? put another way, who is the best hydrid strong/free safety ?

    malcolm jenkins maybe ?

  18. daltonsdumptruck says: Mar 10, 2014 2:55 PM

    Whifner needs to be on a D that’s already good, don’t look for me to be the guy that helps a D turnaround.

  19. theclink12 says: Mar 10, 2014 3:07 PM

    Kam Chancellor > Donte Whitner

    After Whitner gets “paid” Chancellor will have a more cap friendly contract too.

    #SantaClara2ndPlaceAgain

  20. higheriqthanyou says: Mar 10, 2014 4:28 PM

    Did he legally change his name to Hitner yet?

  21. richc111 says: Mar 10, 2014 4:29 PM

    Whitner is way overrated! He hides behind a great front 7. Prediction here! He will try his best to stay in SF because he knows that he can’t make it on his own.

  22. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Mar 10, 2014 6:04 PM

    Only if he doesn’t change his name to Hitner as part of the contract.

  23. dukeearl says: Mar 10, 2014 7:45 PM

    Donte Whtner seems to be more interested in injuring the opponent rather than tackling.

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